tv Illinois Senate Debate CSPAN October 27, 2014 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT
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the race for u.s. senate. >> good evening. welcome to the race for u.s. senator of illinois. the debate is presented by univison chicago. our candidates are dick durbin and mr. jim oberweis. asking questions of our candidates tonight is charles thomas. odriguez,r enrique r and lauarra washington. your responses will be limited to 60 seconds for each question and 30 seconds for each follow-up. you 11 opportunity to ask a question of each other. we will have one minute opening statements and by random draw, we begin with senator gurdon. durbin. >> thanks. it is great to be with you again. i want to say first a good
political campaign focuses on the future. that is what we need to discuss. primarily come of the future of working families across the state of illinois. we need to strengthen the families and give them hope for the future which means writing a tax code that will keep companies here in america. also, provide incentives for good companies in america to grow good paying jobs for families across illinois. secondly, we need to get every family the peace of mind of affordable quality health care coverage. we know now that some 7.2 million people across america benefit from obamacare as some call it. we want to make sure those in illinois have the opportunity for the peace of mind. we have to make sure that future generations have their chance to succeed. that is why i favor renegotiating college student loans so the students have lower interest rates, able to pay off their loan sooner and get on with a good productive life. together, we can make this a stronger working-class. >> thank you.
>> good evening. the senator will be talking about an array of issues like minimum wage, reducing interest rates on student loans and equal pay for equal work. you will be avoiding talking about his failed economic record. i want to keep calling attention to that because i think that is one of the most important things. he is a 32 year career politician. he spent 32 years in washington. he is a very smooth talker. it theto ask why is average illinois family today earns $5,000 less than the earned just six years ago? are we experiencing the worst economic recovery in the history of this nation? why are so many poor kids trapped in failing schools? will offer a different way forward. a way to create more jobs and better paying jobs. a way to help get the kids a better education through better schools. and, an opportunity to discuss
these issues -- i'm looking forward to that very soon. >> thank you. over like to start with a question about washington gridlock. bipartisanship has become a dirty word in washington. dysfunction has become the norm. polls show that less than 30% of americans think this country is headed in the right direction. it is never measured a lower level of trust towards the federal government. if you go to washington, how can you change that? >> i have spent two years serving the illinois senate. if you ask my colleagues, you will find i have tried very hard to work with the other side. i have not deviated for my principles. received a 100% rating for my voting record and from the small business group. but, i have been able to work with the other side. we were able to pass legislation to increase the speed limit on illinois highways.
i was told it had no chance of passing. by sitting down with my colleagues, talking logically about the bill and getting them to work with us on a bipartisan basis, we were able to get that passed. will tell you while i won't compromise my principles, i certainly will make every effort to work with the other side to stall things in advance. ronald reagan ansett o'neill had different issues but they were able to work together. that is my role model and that is what i will try to do. , what wouldnm you say to voters that say you are part of the problem? >> what it comes down to is this -- my spirits in the senate has helped illinois bring good pairing jobs -- paying jobs. it is no accident we are receiving a larger share of federal funds for highway expenditures and then we have in the last 15 years. i use my position in the senate
to bring federal dollars home and it is no accident. illinois won the national competition for the digital manufacturing effort in this state. we believe it will create 75,000 good paying manufacturing jobs in the near term. we are engaging the whole state in this effort. experience, that simon washington has resulted in better results for families across the state. thisn't achieve any of without bipartisan cooperation. senator john mccain was my partner in reform. senator l'amour understand alexander bringing business all across the state. i work with republicans and we get results. the senate could change hands in this midterm election meeting the gop would control the house and senate. how will that change the landscape in washington? >> that is a great opportunity for our legislature to work, the congress to work. if that happens, we will have a real opportunity to pass the 380
bills that have been blocked by senator durbin and senator reid. congress can then pass those bills, go to the president so he can approve them if he likes them or veto them. be forcedhat we will to work with the president going forward to get the best legislation. i believe a bipartisan legislation is the very best legislation we can pass. worked together on bipartisan basis to create a comprehensive immigration reform bill and passed by 68 votes in the united states senate. the house of representatives refused to call the bill. it took them three years to pass a bipartisan farmville which every farm group in illinois supported and i voted for. we signed legislation that will help businesses across that were bottled up by the tea party and the house of representatives. >> we will go for a question and follow-up. >> welcome. theill talk a lot about
possibility of a republican-controlled house because i think -- senate, i am sorry -- that would affect how each of you might legislate if you should be elected. particularly, to use senator, as the republican-controlled house repeatedly votes to repeal the affordable care act, what would be your strategy as a leader in the senate to defend obamacare, particularly if your party should lose the majority? >> let me say i voted for the affordable care act. almost 700,000 people in illinois now have health insurance in the first year and is bringing down the rate of growth in health care costs. the house of representatives has voted 54 times to repeal obama care. it is not going to work. if they want to sit down and work to make it a better bill, i am ready to do that and we should do that on a bipartisan basis.
that is the way to move forward on that issue and many other issues. for the record, any repeal of obama care is never going to get through the white house with this president and it takes 67 votes to override the veto. is an opportunity and challenge should the senate change hands for us to work on a bipartisan make it to make it an even stronger bill. i do not favor repealing obama care. i wouldn't want to impose additional costs on senior citizens and exclude 125,000 young people in illinois from health-care coverage. how would you vote on repealing obama care should a bill such as that makes it to the senate floor? >> i think there are some good things about obamacare. i think keeping young adults on their parents policies until 26 makes a lot of sense. think finding a way to to get past pre-existing conditions makes a lot of sense. it is important for us to buy insurance across state lines.
i believe this was something that was rammed through by democrats. i believe very strongly in bipartisan legislation and working with the other side. i would like to see a combination repeal and replace at the same time the obamacare plan with a plan that would cover more people and provide better coverage but with more choice. floor ofor said on the the u.s. senate that if you like your health care plan, you can keep it. i guarantee it. those were his words. that didn't turn out to be a very good guarantee. then ofme a thumbnail how you would replace obamacare. what would you suggest would be the way to do that? >> we should allow the free market to offer plans across state lines. i think we do bring down the cost of health care by avoiding frivolous lawsuits, allowing the reapplication of american-made drugs from other countries. bringing down all those total
costs and make a plan that would be available through the free market without the government telling us this is a plan you must buy. the should be a greater choice and people should have an opportunity to choose their doctor and health care plan rather than the government tell us what health-care plan we can buy. >> sender, i know you've spoken about how the republicans have used the filibuster. can you envision the democrats using the filibuster as frequently as republicans? should the democrats and up in the minority? >> i sincerely hope and never comes to that. we have seen gross abuse of the filibuster under the current situation. over 130 times in the past year. we need to work constructively. when you ask him for a replacement, he calls the free market. you know what he said in the previous campaign? he wants to eliminate employer-provided health insurance. half the people in illinois get their health insurance through their employers. he believes let's make it a free
market. let's turn the workers in illinois to the loving arms of the health insurance companies. that is no guarantee they will get any coverage. >> the next question and follow-up comes from laura washington. >> during the campaign, there has been a controversy about your wife who lives full-time in florida and allegations you have used that status as an effort to dodge taxes. are you dodging taxes? >> absolutely not. i am one of the top illinois taxpayers. i support women. i thought democrats did, too. have choices to have live lives on their own -- it works for us. to does not live there the whole year in florida. do some things in florida and has a life down there. i don't think we need to tell her that she is not allowed to do that.
my tax bill went up when she made that decision. in the few seconds i have left, i want to go back to what my opponent raised when he said it wanted to eliminate health care for the workplace. all i said is i want to equalize it. individuals should have a deduction for it. if they don't, company should not. if we have a plan that is covering all people which would be our goal to make sure everybody is covered and has axes to good health care, does not have to be solely through the workplace. >> are you satisfied with his answer? >> i still don't understand it. 010, my opponent decided to give up his permanent residency in the state of illinois for tax purposes. he claimed illinois as his permanent residency until that point and until then, he has no permanent home for tax purposes in illinois. when he was asked by the times, he said he did it for tax advantages. i don't know what that means.
you may be the first illinois senator on record who claims a residency in illinois but claims residency in florida for tax purposes. i think you may have set a new standard. live in therd, i same home in springfield, illinois with my wife that i've lived in since the first day i announce my candidacy for public office. getting a tax advantage by having the situation with your residency and your wife's residency so you may be supporting your wife but you are getting a break on taxes, aren't you? >> no. he apparel he doesn't understand the laws of the state. if my wife has a home in another state or anywhere and claims that for a homestead exemption, i am no longer allowed to have that. i have lived in the same home for 37 years. three of my five children live within a few miles of my home. i don't intend to ever leave that home. for him to say i am not a resident is absolutely
ludicrous. >> laura. >> i still don't hear you clearly in terms -- do we know -- you said your taxes have gone down. the you know what your taxes are? can you give us figures? >> i have released my state of illinois taxes. >> including the schedules? >> i paid approximately $50,000 in illinois taxes. lost my illinois exam's and, my illinois tax bill actually went up, not down. >> i just don't get it. if i am wrong and anything i said, it is because i quoted him. that hethe sun-times did this because the tax advantages of florida. maybe he can explain that. to pay more ing taxes, why did you give up your residency in illinois? he used to claim a home in buckingham and he gave it up in 2010.
the only permanent residency is in florida. a penthouse condo. i still don't understand why anyone who aspires to be the united states senator from illinois has to declare a residency in florida for tax purposes. that does not make any sense to me or most of the people that are proud to live in the state. >> question number four comes from enrique. >> good evening. let's talk about immigration. the immigration policy center says that recent studies demonstrate that the higher earnings of legalized workers has more consumer buying power and more jobs. government hasl failed to have a comprehensive immigration reform. there are over 2 million undocumented immigrants. many of them with us-born children and with technical immigration violations have been deported. senator durbin, if you are elected again, out of we
know that you will be successful? there is a very good probability the republicans might take control of the senate. >> it is true the house republicans have stopped comprehensive immigration reform for more than a year and a half. there are estimates that passing that bill will reduce our national debt by $1 trillion over 10 years. if 11 million people become registered in the united states, become part of america, work in america, pay taxes, learn english, buy homes, start businesses, we are going to see a lot more economic activity and people will be treated more fairly. i don't know why the republican party has opposed comprehensive immigration reform. refuses to even call it. it was supported not only by the u.s. chamber of commerce, but by the business and labor. they both knew this was good for creating jobs and wealth in america. my opponent comes up with the word amnesty on this. whenever you hear a politician
use the word amnesty when it comes to immigration, it is clear they are never going to vote for copy hands of immigration reform. this is not a amnesty bill. >> many latinos have in the back of the mind the commercial you aired 10 years ago. in a helicopter, talking about how legal immigration takes everybody's jobs. why should latinos vote for you when you don't support immigration reform? >> i believe very strongly and support immigrants and legal immigration. fair tobelieve it is give advantages or move people to the head of the line ahead of those who have applied properly for immigration. i understand that people are looking for the american dream. our country is formed by immigrants. immigrants generally are risk takers. i certainly identify with those type of people.
it is important that we do it in a way that follows our law. who refute what the senator said -- he is very smooth. very smoothsound but democrats have total control of congress for two years but did not past immigration reform. i believe the voters of illinois send me to washington, i have a better chance to actually pass a real immigration reform because i can bring the two sets extreme instead of an position like senator durban. >> you were critical in passing the dream act. however, does not grant legalization of citizenship. what would you do differently this time around? comprehensive immigration reform and a path for citizenship. i want to congratulate my opponent. he changed his position and says he now supports the act which i introduced 13 years ago.
i hope more republicans will come forward and do that. when he says that this comprehensive immigration reform people in new the front of the line, he has not read the bill. they have to wait 10 years and then go to the back of the line for citizenship. it is 13 years before citizenship. >> mini may be wondering now that you support the act, does it support the parents but not the students? >> in this country, we generally do not believe in penalizing kids for mistakes the parents made. that is why i support a path to citizenship for kids that grew up and became part of our culture. when it comes to parents, we don't want to break up families. i believe we can provide them with a nonimmigrant these at which will allow them to stay here legally to work in this country, pay taxes, to return home and come back legally. i think that is a reasonable
middle ground position that i can bring people together on. >> the next question comes from charles. third run forr the u.s. senate. the previous campaigns failed. you have run for governor, congress unsuccessfully. you want a seat in the state senate two years ago but already you are running again for the u.s. senate not having served a full state senate term. statewide, illinois voters have rejected you repeatedly. what is new or different about jim oberweis now that makes you think you can win and serve now? me pointof all, let out that in all the races i have run -- i have one half of the races if you count primaries and general. i never come in below second and that is in races where we have five candidates, nine candidates and so on.
the voters have continued to support those campaigns at different levels. i believe as and onto for newer, i make mistakes and i admit that. entrepreneurs learn from those mistakes and they do better. >> what have you learned? >> i learned it is very important to carefully communicate your positions because people like senator durbin are much smoother talkers than i'll ever be and he will distort those issues like he tries to do with my home where i have lived for 37 years. i never said that was not my permanent address. under the law, i had to allow only one home exemption. it is not a homestead exemption, it is still my permanent address. regardless of what the senator said, he can smooth talk things but he will never change the facts. do you thinkhat about some comments you have drawn him and this may be an easy campaign? >> at think every camp -- i take every campaign seriously.
i've lost a few campaigns on my way to the senate. i will just say this -- it is the tea party that is wrecking capitol hill and my opponent has embraced it. at a of this year, he was tea party rally says you want the tea party to take over the illinois republican party. the only republican party has a proud history. this chapter of the tea party is one the need to put behind them. they need to be constructive and conservative. the tea party is ni ether. my opponent has embraced those positions. he changes his spots by each political campaign. i don't think that makes a more appealing to the voters. we are looking for someone who is dedicated to helping working families and the state move forward. my opponents position will not do that. >> have you embraced the tea party?
>> i am absolutely disgusted the senator would use that type of language. here is a situation where we had the senator involved in the middle of an irs scandal. >> what about the tea party? >> i am coming to that. he uses the irs scandal to attack political opponents such as tea party groups. at think it is totally disgusting and to use his own words six years ago to talk about people who use complaints against their opponents. as far as the tea party goes, yes, this is a group that addressed his comment about -- >> time. your response. >> april 16, daily herald. they reported this crystal lake rally where he stood up after the crowd had booed one of the statewide republican candidates and boot of the incumbent republican senator from the state.
he said it is time for the tea party to take over the illinois republican party. does that sound like he is an outsider? perhaps when he was giving away ice cream cones at the tea party golf tournament in 2013. he seems to be very comfortable until he has to answer for these positions. >> senator, did you say the illinois tea party should take over the republican party? -- people what i said were complaining they did not have a voice in the illinois republican party. they were disgusted with the party. i suggested to them to become a party. your views are more widespread than those of other organized republicans. over thetake republican party and become the republican party. i stand by that 100%. get involved. do not sit and complain and talk about other things, get involved. work and if you are good enough, so be it. >> i think the record is pretty clear and i will stick with the
democratic party. what is happened with the tea party in washington should be an indicator that people across the state of illinois, the tea party faction is taking extreme positions on issue after issue. they want to eliminate the mass transit subsidy in the federal law. what that would mean to us in chicago where we depend on mass transit so much to make sure we don't have more highway congestion, it is one illustration of the extreme positions they take. my opponent seems to embrace them when the cameras are not in the room but now says he has second thoughts. talk a little to bit about the veterans the administration. the v.a. has been plagued by mismanagement and problems across hospitals across the nation. what reforms would you recommend that would work to adequately serve veterans? >> we have a new leader from arlington heights. he is excess has full -- he is a successful businessman.
45% of veterans who served in iraq and afghan dan and afghanistan -- and afghanistan. you add to that those who were exposed to agent orange, gulf war syndrome and bringing those folks that have ptsd in previous conflicts in for help. we have to do better. far away from the v.a. facility, you can go to a hospital near you and bill them. that is a temporary approach. the v.a. has a new challenge. we have the keep our promise to veterans. we said to them if you risk your life for america, we will stand by you when you come home. i believe our veterans have risked their lives, we owed them a great debt of gratitude. he said the hand, v.a. hospitals were an example
of how our health care system should be operated. that was before the scandal came out and we found out people were falsifying records. now, he takes a different position. he likes to talk about the veterans but this is the same senator who talked about a comparison of our military with the noazis. this shows a total disregard for people who really care about serving our country. who risk their lives for our country. i believe that a v.a. hospitals are doing a good job for veterans, that is great. if they are not, the veterans ought to have access to good health care on a convenient basis. >> we would like to hear more from both the you. more than a quarter of veterans in the country are homeless and they are homeless because many of them have not been able to get adequate services. going for it, you say you were looking at the future -- what reforms -- what new programs, new initiatives would you push for to address this?
>> i joined the mayor in the south side of chicago. 100 residencies for veterans and their families were opened. these were for formerly i was veterans to stay safely and get counseling. we know why many veterans are homeless. need to give them that counseling to get to the under issues that they face and give them a safe place to live. i think we need to continue to move on these homeless veterans and i will do everything i can. >> you will push for -- we are talking about big money, additional funds to create more like this. >> i would. president obama over the last five years has reduced the homeless veteran population by a third. we will not be satisfied until it is reduced to zero. the mayor said in two years we want the city of chicago to not have a single homeless veteran on the street. him completely.
>> all of us want to make sure the veterans are taking care of and not homeless. yet, he has been a washington for 32 years and has not fixed the problem yet. what makes us think he will in the future? the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. if we send the same senator, we would expect the same results. >> what would you propose specifically? >> the senator is very free to throw around taxpayers money and will. i have actually use my own dollars and i have gone to help build homes for the homeless. we can do that in the united states for approximately $10,000 a home. i have a friend who started a business not-for-profit that does that. wife andne it, my daughters have done it. if we get private citizens
involved, we can do much more. >> you wouldn't recommend additional federal funding to address it? >> i didn't say that. we would like to fix the problem. i would like to see what we can do privately first but i would deftly support the government stepping in when necessary. >> milley 60% of all americans in the state were two women and two men can legally marry. the u.s. supreme court just rejected appeals from five states trying to uphold gay marriage bans. would you support a federal law that permits same-sex marriage? >> i think that is well-established. i think the court has said that is approved. there is no argument. at this point, i would say yes. >> you would support a federal law that makes equal marriage? >> i would prefer to see a determined by the states but again, we are past that stage. >> marriage equality is something i support.
announced his candidacy for the united states senate at a rally against marriage equality in springfield, illinois. why he chose that venue? he can explain. we believe loving couples should be able to marry in every state. you see historically, has been a matter of state. what we are finding in the federal level, the courts have said there are certain constitutional principles that rule against the states that don't allow it. we now have 30 states with marriage equality, including illinois. a want us to see all states reach that same conclusion. i think a federal standard is not unreasonable. >> president obama believes the eagle protection clause of the constitution does in fact aaron t same-sex marriage -- guarantee same-sex marriage without a federal mandate. what is your view on that? >> we didn't get a chance for a rebuttal. want again, the senator was very
loose with facts when he said i announced my candidacy at some rally. he is obviously not knowledgeable about that and continues to throw those facts out there. >> you did vote against the illinois marriage equality act. >> i did. i thought it was a state issue. i was raised as a catholic and i believe in traditional marriage, but i think we are past that. i support the law and constitution. >> you believe at a state level, you look at it differently than the federal level? >> time has passed. that is the law and i will uphold the law of the land. >> i president obama standard is the right standard. they're using that to knock down laws that prohibit marriage equality. when it comes to this issue, we need to do more as elected officials to ask for acceptance and tolerance in this country. group, whether it is hispanics or african-americans or those of
different orientation. that is not what america is about. this is a land of opportunity. we still have the rights for established religions to have their own standards for marriage. >> we have not reached the point of this program where you each have the opportunity to question the other. >> thank you. the senator says that he supports women, but he pays women 11% less in his office. return $38,000to of campaign country visions linked to the worst case of sexual harassment and u.s. history. he has released an internal investigation into the abuse alleged against women in his office. by his own chief of staff. i would like to ask you tonight if you will release of that report that was generated so we know it is not a whitewash? >> there is no allegation of
sexual harassment by the employee involved during the time she worked for us. to left and came back. we took a close look at it and take it very seriously. when i heard about some of the things that were alleged, we set new standards in the office and every employee knows what those standards will be. my chief of staff and chicago is a latina woman. i am very proud of her. we have the top 10 paid positions -- six of them are filled by women. on average, women make $4000 more a year than men on my staff. i've asked you repeatedly -- tell me about the women working for you and what you are paying them. tell me about security. how many women are working there and what are you paying them? he refuses to do it. he just throws his charges at me and refuses to face the music. he tells the women of the state the reality and the record of
his own office. take a look at his record on women issues -- he voted against equal rights amendment. in the 21st century, you oppose the people writes amendment? what are you thinking. >> once again, he is very smooth as i said and he will try to divert from the issues. i asked the question. i am looking for a yes or no, will you release the report? we would like to see it so you are not whitewashing this particular issue. i've mentioned to you and you disregard the facts. i told you the highest paid individual is not a family member. it was a woman. four out of the five top managers were women at one point while i was involved in the company. i'm no longer involved in either of the companies. we support women within the businesses. >> it is your opportunity to ask a question.
>> we will have a chance in a few days to work on some important issues on the ballot in illinois. let me bring three or four them to your attention. first, a chance to increase the minimum wage to $10 an hour -- i am voting yes. we are going to have a proposition on the ballot to raise income taxes on individuals like yourself to provide more money for our schools. i am voting yes. we are going to have a provision that says no employer can dictate to a woman whether her health insurance includes birth control. i support that. im voting yes to make sure that does not happen. on voting yes on all three. how are you voting? >> once again, the senator does it one more time. at very smooth and tries to divert the issues. --se issues are traveli totally irrelevant. the issue that would've carried the weight of law would've provided term limits that would
allow voters of illinois to make a constitutional amendment that would of limited servants in springfield for state legislators for a time of eight years. that is something the majority of illinois wants. they don't allow us to vote on that. a politicalis is process trying to energize the democrats. that would like to vote on issues that really make a difference. i am sure we will have a chance to talk more about minimum wage. i've proposed a bill that makes all kinds of sense. that is a copper mise bill that would provide a hider minimum wage of $10 an hour in illinois for those aged 26 and older. like to talkt about the rights of women. he not only voted against putting the advisory referendum on the ballot. were we can speak as estate whether women should have the last word when it comes to birth control and their health insurance policy when the hobby lobby's decision came out -- you
cannot wait to tweet to the world how happy you work it to go away the rights of women and their families to have access to birth control. i think that is wrong. we have to respect the rights of women. you have not done that when it comes to this referendum. you are telling me now you are not going to vote for it. >> the next question comes from mr. rodriguez. >> thank you. i am assuming education is important to you, right? hopefully, you can give me a specific account for the bowling question. they are offering a fellowship to eight latino students who are here tonight watching the debate. as you can imagine, the extreme the concerned about the $1.2 trillion in student debt. they want to know what you would do in the future to pressure universities to make college more affordable? we know what you have done but what would you do differently this time around?
>> i would support the suggestion that universities should not be receiving pell grant funds until the students have completed the course. that makes the university engaged in making certain that the student does not drop off before receiving the money. i would go after the for-profit colleges in our state and nation. they taken 10% of the students out of high school and account for 46% of student loan defaults. nd.t has to ebn i want the police that sector of higher dictation were closely. i support renegotiating student loans. up told save families $2000 per family. we now have a terrible situation. our students are too deeply in debt and their lives have changed because of it. >> you are a former teacher. what is your strategy for this?
>> students are paying too high in interest on their loans. i support refinancing but let's face facts -- those high interest rates are set by senator durbin and is a administration. he has been there for 32 years. >> what would you do? >> we should lower the interest rates so they are competitive. alloweve we should private colleges and universities to compete with public universities because it is competition that provides better opportunities. if they have a higher loan default rate, let's tighten the standards. let's not put colleges or universities out of business as the senator has done. i believe greater use of technology such as learning over the web, taking advantage of the very best teachers would provide a way to bring down some of the cost of education. we need to move in those directions. >> the next question is from laura washington. >> voters say they are turned off by all the negative and misleading ads of the campaign.
>> same here. >> in one of your ads, you accused your opponent of spying on citizens, putting millions of dollars in his own pocket and being the father of d.c. gridlock. what is the factual basis for those allegations? >> public documents show he has received in excess of $9 million of lobbyist money. clearly, that is influenced some of his votes in legislation. my family business happens to be ice cream. his family business happens to be lobbying and the sale of influence. i think that is bad for the country. we will vote in ways that we believe are good for the country and good for the state. when you have career politicians like a dick durbin, he will say anything if he thinks he will earn a vote. does not have to be related to the truth. we need to have term limits so they vote in ways that are good for the country, not career politicians will vote in ways to
help themselves get reelected. >> you are saying he is received a lobbyist funds and they are going to his campaign. the ad implies they are going into his pocket. >> he has received in excess of $9 million in his campaign which he is spending against me. >> that is not going into his pocket. >> he has become a multimillionaire at the taxpayers expense. >> i want to point out you have run negative ads. i want to as both of you if you are willing to as of tomorrow pledge to drop your negative ads for the rest of the campaign. >> of course. i would like to see this and as quickly as possible. we didn't run her first negative ad until he opened up with nearly $1 million of negative advertising. i'm not going to sit there and get punched around. if he wants to pull his negative ads, we can pull them tomorrow. >> you both agree? >> i am ready. >> yes spent three or four times
as much as i have. physics use will be that he pulled down his negative ad but he has a super pac. >> that is fine, but would you agree to pull your versatile negative ads if he agrees? >> i would change our ad to be a positive ad, but it has to be on the basis where we have equality. that is not the case he will be using. >> so, you are both willing to agree to stop running negative ads? that i hear you both say that? >> i will make that pledge. he talked about my super pac -- there was one businessman who was spent over $1 million in negative advertisement against me in support of his candidacy. sadly, this is what citizens united has brought us. i think it was a terrible decision. i supported an amendment to put >>it.to
t. >> there is quite a difference between your super pac and supplying your campaign with campaign country visions over a period of time. >> tomorrow, we are not going to see any more negative ads from either side? >> i think that is not realistic. it takes time to make changes. we don't have another at an we don't have the money to produce another ad that he does. >> charles thomas, the next question from you. >> african-americans have supported you by overwhelming majority in your three previous statewide elections. given the chronic unemployment, homelessness, crime and underperforming schools in the black community, why should african-americans continue to vote for you? >> i think this is been an interesting issue in this campaign, not just the senatorial race, but the gubernatorial race.
are making inroads in the south suburbs in the south side of chicago. i don't take any vote or group for granted. we have to work hard to earn those votes. i find it hard to understand how my opponent can appear before these african-american churches and sell them he feels their pain, but he opposes raising the minimum wage they need. he canit hard to imagine walk in these parades against gun violence and his position is unique in this race. universal background checks to keep the guns out of the hands of convicted thugs. i find it impossible to its plain how he can call for the repeal obama care when all's 700,000 people in illinois are counting on obama care for the basic health insurance they have. those are three areas i have worked hard to help the african immunity in. >> howdy you respond to the suggestions that maybe -- how do you respond to the suggestions
that may be are buying the african-american votes? >> i am not. some people indicate they could support our campaign if we would make certain conservations and we said no. we have right here the reverend. if you talk to him, you will find out why he is supporting it and it relates -- i understand how to create jobs. the senator does not work in the private sector and does not create private sector jobs. i have and i will. i know what it takes. secondly, education -- we need to have better education for our kids. we can do that. he killed a wonderful pilot program in washington that was helping minority kids. when the people on the south side hear that story and check to find out it is true, that is one of the reasons they are supporting me over him. we giveit is critical them opportunities. if there is a great example on the south side of chicago where
we have at chicago public school and ibm working to supplement their funding and provide them with a guaranteed $40,000 a year starting salary when they graduate three years after high school. >> the next question is from mr. rodriguez. >> let's talk about the minimum wage. statistics in the u.s. census bureau show that 23.5% of latinos currently are below the poverty level. that is a big problem. you will probably need the latino vote and african-american vote to win this election. why doesn't it make sense for you to support a minimum wage increase? >> i believe you know i support haveand i have said -- i sponsored legislation in springfield to increase illinois minimum wage to $10 over the next three years. support only $10 an hour for people over 26 years old. >> let me explain why.
accordinge supports, to the congressional budget office, a bipartisan group in washington, indicates that would kill between 500000 and one million jobs in this country. my bill has the advantage of providing a higher wage for those that are 26 and older then have to begin paying for their own insurance. at the same time, it would not prevent teenagers and young adults from getting an entry-level job so they can learn the skills and go on to better paying jobs. it is the best of both worlds. not the job killing factors he does, but does have a higher wage for those workers who have experience. >> the congressional budget report, he is right about that. how can you assure that raising the minimum wage will not eliminate between half a million to one million jobs? >> i don't think that will happen. nine her thousand people will come out of poverty. bill may be the single worst idea in this
campaign. no increase in the minimum wage. you have to be a college student working your way through school? no increase in the minimum wage if you are under 26 and a single mom raising a baby. no increase if you are under 26 and just came out of serving the military as a veteran. this is the single worst idea i have heard and he embraces it every time we get together. we need to make sure people get decent wages. week,y work 40 hours a they should not be under the party level. integrate more profits,, more businesses across america. i believe you build the american economy from the bottom up, not tax breaks for the wealthy. >> your response to our country's response to ebola. has enough been done to keep american citizen safe? >> i have had a conversation in
the last few days with the head of the cdc and the usaid. are hard at work. when he to keep america safe. what we are doing now is reviewing all the processes, all of the efforts, the equipment, the materials to make sure we are ready if any of these cases show up. we are checking at o'hare at airports across the country to see if people have a fever when they arrive in the country. if they are, they are examined and quarantined if necessary. problem created this and made it worse is the fact that the tea party and sequestration over the last 10 years has reduced american investment in medical research by 22%. we should be investing in finding cures for diseases in this country. the people who look at the budget and see it as numbers and don't understand the medical research is really the key to protecting americans, putting behind us other diseases, i
don't understand the value of some of these. >> our government has a duty to protect us not only from military threats but also from health threats. we and fortunately have been very slow to react in this case. he has been out campaigning instead of helping to deal with this issue. we should of long ago established limits on visas, flights to this country and gotten better education. my own daughter is a nurse practitioner and the hospital in aurora. i talked to her about this issue and she serves and the emergency room, by the way, where they're likely to face this if it happens here. she says they have not gone the training and education and support they need to get. we need to have our government support us. this is one case where our government should be supporting us and it has failed to do so. i think we need to do much better not only in this case, but going forward as well.
he can tell he talks about what a good friend he is to the president. he should be picking up the phone and asked the president to do more and do it now. >> assault weapons ban. we would like to hear if the positions of each of you on a ban on assault weapons. >> i support a ban on assault weapons. these are military weapons that are designed for one purpose -- to kill other human beings in volume. we have seen them is used. i have been out hunting, shooting ducks. if you need an ak-47 to shoot a deer or duck, you are to stick to fishing. i think we need to draw the line. we supreme court has told as control the line of certain weapons that should not be sold in america. i think assault weapon should be in that category and yes, i would vote to ban them. will do everything possible to reduce violence in this country. that is why i have been standing -- >> does that include banning assault weapons?
>> the me finish my answer. i've and standing out on the corner of cottage grove to call attention to violence and i will do whatever i can to help reduce violence in this country. the problems you are talking about -- our own government did a study and it came to the conclusion that assault weapons are not used in crimes and they did not in fact reduce violence. having said that, i will do everything i can. i want to tell you a personal story and why i support second amendment rights. about 25 years ago, my sister-in-law was sitting in her saw kidsoom and saw he break into her home. they sat her down in the living room, put a gun in her head and shot her. i listen in court as one kid was telling the story against the other kid about what happened. it was one of the more horrifying things i have ever heard and for that reason, i
support the second amended. if you had a gun in her bedroom, she might be alive today. >> that is a no? you don't support the ban? >> i would support it if there is evidence it would reduce violence. so far, the government said there is no such evidence. >> so you don't support a ban on assault weapons? >> i want absolutely support a ban if there is evidence it would reduce violence. the evidence so far is it does not reduce violence. from the government. >> any response to that, senator? >> i am sorry for the tragedy to your family. second, 92% of americans believe a universal background check to keep guns out of the hands of and out of thes hands of mentally unstable people is the right thing to do. my opponent says it is not. the american people say there is no place for military assault rifles when it comes to hunting or even self-defense.
my opponent will not bring himself to ban these weapons. it may only save a few lives because more people were killed by handguns, but let's save those lives. >> thank you very much, gentlemen. that brings the conclusion the question portion. now, we turn to your closing statements. >> thank you. thanks to all of our viewers for listening tonight. as i said,e facts -- the senator is a much better to speaker than i am. he is smooth. he has been in washington for 32 years. unfortunately, when somebody is in washington for 32 years, they lose touch with people in the streets. that is what i have heard over and over again in the south side of chicago. they don't see dick durbin. he doesn't understand their problems today. he is not the same man he was 32 years ago when he first ran for congress. i think it is absolutely important that we have limits on how long people serve because
the longer people are in washington, the more they're likely to vote for one regulation on top of another hurting business and his country and making us less competitive with other countries. my goal will be to keep the economy growing faster instead of the current one or 2% so we create more jobs or opportunities for people. as we great more jobs, people have more money to spend and that creates faster economic growth and more job growth. that is what i offer. the center offers more of the same job killing economic environment and that has ti change. ,> during my time in washington i have commuted every week back home to illinois, the only permanent resident i have ever had. my wife and i are proud to be residents. let me tell you what i heard when i come home -- traveling across the state to the time i have served in the united states senate, people, working families want a fighting chance for
their futures. american companies he does stay in america and pay their taxes rather than move jobs overseas. do not create incentives to take jobs out of this country. secondly, give those families the peace of mind of affordable health insurance. that is what we are working towards and something my opponent says he will repeal. when it comes to college education, i would not be standing here tonight without a government loan that i too got to pay for my education. i paid it back but the government gave me a chance. i think i ended up in a pretty good position in life. i'm honored to represent this great state in the united states senate. i want every working family to have the same opportunities. >> thank you. that concludes our debate tonight. on behalf of abc seven eyewitness news and the league of women voters, thank you for watching tonight. i am reminding you to vote on the fourth of november. have a good night.
>> coming up, the massachusetts governor's debate between democrat mark laconically -- martha coakley and charlie baker. then, the georgia senate debate. minnesota for a senate debate between income and democrat al franken and republican mike mcfadden. later from honolulu, the hawaii governor's debate between iona and themes independent. now live to the messages governors debate where republican candidate charlie baker and democratic candidate martha coakley. willinner of this race take over from the current
governor that is now retiring. a judge rejected a lawsuit from one of the candidates being included. the debate is live from massachusetts and comes to us courtesy >> live from hanover theatre for the performing arts in dorchester, massachusetts. the gubernatorial debate brought to you by worcester regional chamber of commerce and the telegram & gazette and hanover theatre for the performing arts. martha coakley and charlie baker, our panelists. king, chris sinacola. moderating the debate